Industry: ND oil no more volatile than other fuel

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 6, 2014 at 4:37 pm •  Published: August 6, 2014

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple intends to ask top U.S. energy and transportation officials about conflicting reports over the volatility of crude coming from the state's oil patch, he said Wednesday.

Dalrymple said he will question U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx on a federal report when they're in Bismarck for a national energy policy conference on Friday.

The federal report, released earlier this year by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, says oil from North Dakota's prolific Bakken formation may be more flammable than other crudes. But a report funded by the North Dakota Petroleum Council and presented to the North Dakota Industrial Commission on Wednesday says Bakken oil is no more dangerous to transport by rail than other crudes and fuels.

Dalrymple chairs the commission that regulates the state's oil and gas industry, and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring are its other members. All three are Republican.

Oil trains in the U.S. and Canada were involved in at least eight major accidents during the last year, including an explosion in Lac-Megantic, Quebec that killed 47. Other trains carrying Bakken crude have since derailed and caught fire in Alabama, North Dakota, Virginia and New Brunswick.

The petroleum council, which represents more than 500 companies working in North Dakota's oil patch, commissioned the $400,000 study of Bakken crude characteristics. The group said more than 150 oil samples were taken from well sites and rail facilities and sent to independent laboratories for analyses.

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